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A left-sided defender signed on a two year contract with an option of a third, in June 2010 - Rose's signing ended a year's pursuit for manager Danny Wilson, who had attempted to sign him during the previous close season. Rose made his debut for the club in the opening match of the season, a 2-1 home defeat by Brighton in August.
Rose made a disappointing start to his Town career - and after a horrendous mistake handed Brentford a goal in a 1-1 draw later in the month, Wilson returned to the transfer market to sign Alan Sheehan, who had been at the club on loan the previous season. Sheehan's return immediately resulted in Rose being dropped from the starting eleven, whilst Wilson admitted that Rose had not yet lived up to expectations, but it was difficult for him with a long commute from Manchester every day, and with his wife having just given birth - he also suggested that Rose might even be third choice behind both Sheehan and Callum Kennedy. Rose later admitted that the manager had been right to drop him, as he had "lost the will to play football" because of tiredness following the arrival of his baby son.
Injury to Sheehan gave Rose another chance towards the end of September, when having replaced the Irishman with the Town 2-0 down at home to Plymouth, Rose struck his first goal for the club with a superbly executed free-kick to draw the Town level, before they succumbed to an injury time defeat. He kept his place for the following four games, until a 5-4 defeat in mid-October prompted Wilson to bring back the now-fit Sheehan for the home match with Leyton Orient - when Sheehan was sent off for violent conduct, Rose was introduced from the subs' bench, and he again smashed in a late free-kick from thirty yards to rescue a point for the home side. With Sheehan suspended, Rose kept his place right into December - notching another great free-kick against Rochdale and winning the Player of the Month award in November - until the defensive side of his game was exposed by non-league Crawley, who obviously targeted him as the weak link in an FA Cup replay at the County Ground, which the Town lost 3-2 - during which Rose diverted a Crawley cross towards his own goal, which keeper Phil Smith allowed to go through his legs for the away side's equaliser that took the game to extra time. Rose's absence was short-lived though - after sitting out the last game of the year against Peterborough, he returned as a substitute for Sheehan on New Years' Day - and was restored to the starting line-up two days later when he gave a good performance in a televised clash at Charlton, which the Town won 4-2. The run prompted the Swindon Advertiser to run a piece titled 'Michael Rose's peculiar season', describing the ups and downs of Rose's time at the County Ground to date - the general consensus amongst fans being that whilst the attacking side of his game, and in particular his delivery from set pieces, was good, the defensive part of his game was not as impressive.
Rose's season took another turn in mid-January, when he was sent off for stamping on an opponent during a match against Yeovil, with the Town in the ascendancy but drawing 0-0 - minutes later, Yeovil took the lead that would win them the game. After his suspension, Rose returned to the starting eleven in early February, and kept his place into March - a period during which Swindon failed to win a single match, and manager Danny Wilson resigned from his position. New boss Paul Hart kept Rose in his first eleven for his first two matches in charge against fellow relegation candidates Walsall and Plymouth - when neither of these ended in victory, Rose was one of the fall guys, dropped to the bench for the game with Dagenham. It was around this point that Rose got involved in arguments with fans on the social networking site Twitter, where he also disclosed that he had the chance to move on a temporary deal prior to the loan transfer deadline, with two unnamed clubs coming in for him - Rose's tweet saying, 'Question is will u miss me when I'm gone??!! Be careful with wot u wish for!!', before appearing to confirm that the decision as to whether he went or not was taken out of his hands.
Rose didn't return to the starting eleven until mid-April, and he played the final four matches of the season as the Town's relegation to League Two was confirmed - a mistake from Rose contributing to one of the final nails in the Town coffin, when he played Scott Cuthbert into trouble against Notts County, Cuthbert getting robbed in possession to hand County the winning goal in an important relegation clash. As soon as the season ended, new chairman Jeremy Wray informed players that they were free to talk to other clubs if that was what they wanted, and Rose was the first out of the door - Swindon agreeing to terminate the defender's contract so he could sign for Colchester on a two year deal.
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